2021 Ultramox Freedom to Friendship Stallion Challenge Judge – Handling & Freestyle Classes
Fortunate to grow up on a small horse and cattle farm in the King Country, Murray has spent his whole life starting, training, and hanging out with horses. As a child, Murray’s parents ran youth horse riding camps, which meant that spring and summer holidays were spent starting and working with young horses to prepare them for a summer of young riders.
As a youth, Murray was a keen jumper and PC eventer, but with flailing dressage scores decided to take himself off to work in a dressage barn for a couple of years post-high-school to sharpen up. Working in one of New Zealand’s top dressage barns, Murray fell in love with the art of dressage, and the potential for such harmony and connection between horse and rider.
After completing a Master in Management studies at Waikato University, and spending several years working with young people in the Youth Justice sector, Murray’s love of horses and the potential of the horse-human relationship has taken him back to working with horses full-time; learning and exploring the time-honoured techniques as well as new and emerging understandings of horsemanship. Murray seeks to approach horse training with the same curiosity he hopes to inspire in the horses he works with and says the gift of working with many different horses every day is that every horse is a teacher and an opportunity to learn more.
Currently, Murray’s learning edge is the exploration of working with and understanding the horse-human relationship at the level of the incredibly intelligent mammal nervous system and is excited to share what he is learning with a wider audience.